Japanese quail chicks (18 days of age), from a line genetically selected for high plasma corticosterone response to brief immobilization stress, were treated for 24 h with either untreated drinking water or with a vitamin C (1200 mg/l of ascorbic acid: AA) solution. The chicks were subsequently exposed either to a stressful cooping procedure (which lasted for 12-21 h and incorporated animal capture, inescapable exposure to novelty, a reduction in floor space and in ambient temperature and food and water deprivation), or they remained undisturbed. Cooping caused considerable increase of circulating corticosterone concentrations, thus illustrating its stressful nature. Treatment with AA failed to affect the adrenocortical response to cooping, but it attenuated the tonic immobility fear reactions of stressed and unstressed quail. The mechanisms underpinning the behavioural consequences of AA supplementation have yet to be determined. The results are discussed in terms of, first, the relationship between adrenocortical activation and fearfulness, and second, their implications for poultry welfare and performance.
|Publication Title||Applied Animal Behaviour Science|
|Author Address||Poultry Science Department, Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA.|
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